“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
Then a certain of the vagabond Jews, excorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded.” Acts 19 v11-16
Years ago, as I began to share the story of a short term missionary journey of which I had been on (or had already been-not sure in memory) to a brother I had met on the road, he said to me, “let no man glory in himself but in the Lord.” In all honesty, I was a bit taken back at first. He was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost it seemed, so my thought was he would share in the excitement of what I was telling him, and I know he did. His place at that time though was to help me further my understanding, although to me it didn’t completely feel that way. Paul, early on knew of this as well.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base the things of the world, and the things which are despised, hath God not chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him ye are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1 v26-31
To be like Jesus. I know of a man who once stopped at a road side accident and people were confused and hurt, even to the point of almost falling out into the road and in even more harms way. The timing was not of his own, but he was there. As the incident unfolded, another had stopped as well to help, prior to this man, and had gotten seriously injured for life. The two lay together in a ditch, one prayed with the other while he hung onto life. Help arrived. Life went on, the man who lost his leg recovered and testimony was shared of how he continued. God was good that day and beyond.
It is God by whom we are called, and it is him by where our lives are led to divine appointments with those that we cross paths with.
I know of a man who once witnessed a man traveling on a train with a duffle-bag carrying his belongings. The man lost his belongings when he jumped from the train and couldn’t reach his bag as the train moved on. God gave the witness compassion for the man who lost his belongings, and even though it slowed the journey for many a moment or two, the man asked the lead of the journey about supplying the one in need a little help in his moment of need. The lead on the journey said yes, and the others would wait until the help was given and then the trip would carry on. It was of no ones reasoning that all three of these men would be at this same place, at the same time, and the event take place that did. God’s timing, his divine appointment takes us often to the place where, if we are prepared to meet his calling, he will provide the answers to the needs.
To be like Jesus. We are to learn of him, to know him not in a boastful manner but strong enough that evil will recognize him in us by his presence in our lives. He is our strong tower and that is not a weakness, it is a strength of humility to know that God is greater than all things we can encounter.
“Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have recieved of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20 v19-24 AKJV
To find our right place is beyond men. A day of being popular (captive popularity) has been among us, a day of having prosperity (things of this world) has been among us, a day of recognition (self-recognition) has been among us, a day of community (belonging to anything) has been among us, and more even in my short journey here. Teachings of old in the scripture remind us of the same in the past and the measure of which we can see what is in place.
“The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear the rod, and who hath appointed it. And there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? Shall I count them pure with wicked balances, and with the bag of decietful weights? For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is decietful in their mouth.
Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins. Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. Though shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.” Micah 6 v9-15 AKJV
Recognizing even among the church (the professing body of Christ) such spiritual deficit prevails with evidence-a continual desiring of the things of this world and never becoming satisfied. All things are or will be measured, weighed in the balances of true weight and measure. God’s correction is a correction result of the Love he has for those who are his. His preparation through direction is what sets the body of Christ-sanctification of purpose- apart from the rest of the world who chooses not his ways.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached out unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is,of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly.
To preach the gospel in the region beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” 2 Corinthians 10 v12-18 AKJV
and at the times we wonder…
“Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be the greatest. And Jesus, percieving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, And said unto them,
Whosever shall recieve this child in my name recieveth me: and whosever shall recieve me recieveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him,
Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9 v46-50 AKJV
To be like Jesus. At times living life brings us to the unexplained, and as Christians we desire to know many answers. Understanding another’s plight in life helps bring compassion to many circumstances. Wisdom of knowing what to do that brings help provides a choice to a path to be over-comers in the world we are in, not being overconfident of our-selves, but knowing how to trust him and teach others that as well.
In Jesus’s journey here he knew that his virtue in us would be called upon and drained from us at times, (TBLJ 7), but in that moment by faith healing could come. He is the one with life purpose’s in his hands, (TBLJ 8). God has given us enough faith to breathe and have life. To trust in our faith is to find peace given the provisions by the life of Christ Jesus, (TBLJ 9), He trust us to know who he is, (TBLJ 10) because he knows we need and can grow in that measure of faith. He requires us to “deny” ourselves, and to “take up the cross daily,” his direction. (TBLJ 11). He promised us of a comforter, the teacher, the reminder, and the source of strength for us to be overcomers to carry all around the world, by our faith if we so choose. (TBLJ 12). He calls us to prayer.
Lord, I thank you for this day. I pray Lord Jesus for those and for myself that you have blessed with your calling, even if your special calling. It is not of ourselves to understand all things, and many of which we do understand is understood as vanity. I thank you for your word, I thank you for your preachers of the word and pray as I know you will, continue to bless and be with them. Lord, purge us and cleanse us this day of all unrighteousness and strengthen us by your grace to walk closer to you. Prepare us Lord, that we understand your statutes and your precepts that are in place to protect us from all evil and the emptiness that it brings. As our cups of life are filled, let them overflow to others in a good way as you provide healing in both physical and spiritual matters of life. We give you thanks Lord. Forgive us where we fail, and let not the enemy prevail against us or use us in his efforts. Help us Lord, and we thank you that you do, to stand strong in our faith and always for the right reasons. We are so very, very, thankful for all our brothers and sisters in you, and most especially for all that you have done for us. Your rain is good. Amen